14 GENIUS Laundry Hacks You Have to See
Less time doing laundry and more timing doing, well, anything else: that's the goal of these mind-blowing laundry hacks from our editors.
Our editors have a long, idiosyncratic list of tricks, favorite products, and smart organizing ideas around the home. We asked them for their best hacks and tips they use in the laundry room. Put their advice to work on the trouble spots in your wash routine.
1. Eliminate Creases with a Pool Noodle
Sick of those unsightly lines caused by your drying rack? Here's a hack that's easy and affordable. Take a basic pool noodle, make a cut along one side, and slide it onto your rack. Bye-bye, creases!
2. DIY Spot Treater
"For grease and makeup marks, I pretreat with a sprinkle of baking soda followed by a few drops of white vinegar," says Samantha Hart, Home Editor. "Let it sit for a bit, then wash like normal."
3. Use Aluminum Foil If You're Out of Dryer Sheets
So you've finished washing your clothes, but you're fresh out of dryer sheets. Now what? Look to your kitchen cabinets. Aluminum foil can be bundled up and used as a dryer sheet for up to six months.
4. Grass-Stain Hero
"It has been around for a hundred years (literally), but Fels-Naptha laundry bar was the only thing that would get grass stains out of my son Walt’s baseball uniform," says Diana Dickinson, Features Editor. "It’s also supposed to help poison ivy, although I’ve never tried it for that."
5. Use a Dry-Erase Marker to Remember Items
Preserve delicate items with a friendly reminder. Use a dry-erase marker directly on your washing machine to make a list of clothing that needs to be removed for air-drying. Simply wipe away when finished.
6. Do-Not-Dry Alert
"If something must be line-dried, I put it in a zippered sweater bag before it goes in the hamper so whoever transfers the laundry knows the item can’t go in the dryer," says Karman Hotchkiss, Home Editor. "The bags are easy to spot so I don’t worry that when “someone else” does the laundry they will shrink a key item."
7. Place Soap in Dispensers for Mess-Free Storage
Keep laundry detergent safely out of reach from children with mounted soap dispensers. They can be easily refilled while keeping your countertops clutter-free. Keep a hand towel nearby to wipe up any drips from the dispenser's spout.
8. Prevent Color Runs
"Shout Color Catchers are magical little sheets that keep dye from transferring," says Kit Selzer, Home Editor. "You can actually see the color it absorbs when the wash is done. I’ve taught my kids to put one in every load—just in case."
9. Use a Mesh Bag to Organize Socks
"All those little kid socks are enough to drive you crazy," says Jessica Saari Christensen, Food Editor. "I keep a delicates bag clipped on all the hampers to collect the socks right when they come off. Throw the entire bag into the wash and your pairing is practically complete."
10. Make Clothes Dry Faster
"I always shake out damp items when forwarding them from washer to dryer," says Brian Kramer, Home Editor. "Mom and Gram swore it opened up the fabric and made it dry faster with fewer wrinkles."
You can also speed up drying time by throwing a dry towel into a load of wet clothes for the first 15 minutes of the drying cycle.
11. Hamper Hacks
"I keep a basket on a shelf on my kitchen island to serve as a mini hamper for dish towels and cloth napkins so I can tote that laundry to the washer all at once," says Oma Ford, Executive Editor.
12. Install a Towel Bar for Additional Hanging Space
A towel bar makes use of spare wall space for hanging wet clothes. Be sure to install it high enough so dresses and pans don't hit the floor when hung. Metal works better than wood and won't damage when it gets wet.
13. Dry Cleaning At Home
"When I went to college, my aunt gifted me Dryel—an at-home stand-in for dry cleaning—and I remain devoted," says Katy Kiick Condon, Home Editor. "Zip garments into the 2x2-foot bag with a wet Dryel sheet, toss in the dryer, and voilà, clothes emerge fresh and wrinkle-free."
14. Make Folding Simple with Cardboard
Folding clothes isn't as easy as it sounds. Get little helpers involved in folding by creating a cardboard template for your kids. The template should help fold sleeves in first, followed by folding the bottom of the shirt upwards.